The White House gingerbread house takes center stage in the State Dining Room during the Christmas season. This year's creation weighs in at over 400 pounds of which 150 pounds are gingerbread dough and 250 pounds are white chocolate. Take a look at how the White House chefs create this confectionary edifice in this video.
Kids from all 50 states submitted healthy recipes that won them a trip to the White House today to celebrate their achievements and sample some of the recipes with First Lady Michelle Obama. See for yourself how things went with this video.
The man the Obama family calls "the crustmaster", White House Pastry chef Bill Yosses, will no longer be creating President Obama's favorite pies come June. Chef Yosses, who was originally hired by former First Lady Barbara Bush, is departing Washington for New York to start his own foundation. Chef Yosses has been the mastermind behind the colossal gingerbread houses on display at the White House during the Christmas holiday celebrations. I, for one, will miss Mr. Yosses marvelous Christmas cookies.
First Lady Michelle Obama along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Education, and the Epicurious organization are again issuing a challenge across the country to young chefs ages 8 to 12 to enter the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. Kids are invited to submit an original lunch recipe and if the recipe is selected it could mean a opportunity to attend a kids' State Dinner at the White House, hosted by Mrs. Obama. Recipes must be submitted by April 5, 2014. Get more information about how to enter @ www.recipechallenge.epicurious.com/
It seems hard to believe that, until the 1950s, food in the White House main kitchen was prepared in fireplaces. Even though the location of the main kitchen on the ground floor of the White House has not changed since the 19th century nothing else remains the same. The kitchen is now a model of efficiency with six ovens, a 16-foot stove, eight refrigerators, five dishwashers, a soup kettle, meat grinder, a 30-gallon ice cream freezer and a deep fryer. The kitchen pantry is equipped with two dumbwaiters that lift the food up to the butler's pantry on the first floor where the State Dining Room is located. All this equipment assures that the staff can turn out food for a 5-course State dinner of 135 people served in exactly 55 minutes, or prepare appetizers for 1,000 people.
The White House employs five chefs to oversee all this activity and also prepare meals for the President and his family. And, there is a Chocolate Shop where the White House pastry chef works his magic creating chocolate confections and other pastries.
Author James Cannon takes a fresh look at the life of the
Gerald Ford in his biography "Gerald Ford An Honorable Life"". While many may view Ford as an interim president his tenure in office was almost as long as that of President John F. Kennedy.
President George Washington apparently was a creature of habit, at least when it came to his daily breakfast, according to his step-granddaughter Nelly Custis-Lewis. The folks at George Washington's home Mount Vernon have produced an account of his breakfast preferences along with a recipe for the hoecakes Washington loved.
President John Quincy Adams was very fond of swimming and in warm weather went skinny dipping in the Potomac River not too far from the White House. Theodore Roosevelt also was known to skinny dip in the Potomac but he preferred icy waters. Presidents did not have access to a swimming pool at the White House until Franklin Roosevelt became president and people from all over the country, including school children, donated millions of dimes in 1933 for the construction of a heated indoor pool as therapy for Roosevelt whose legs were paralyzed due to polio. Subsequent presidents enjoyed using the pool and when President John F. Kennedy moved into the White House his father, Joseph P. Kennedy, commissioned a mural of sailing scenes (see photo at left) to illuminate the walls around the pool. When Richard Nixon became president, because the pool was located near the West Wing, he had a floor laid over the pool and the space was turned into a press briefing room to provide more space to accommodate the White House press corps. Again, donors came to the rescue in the form of private donations when Gerald Ford took over the White House and an outdoor pool
was constructed which continues to be used today. It is screened by trees and has a changing cabana and an adjoining spa. First Lady Barbara Bush used the outdoor pool quite frequently even though she once found a rat paddling around in the water.